Saturday, September 3, 2011

The First Week of School

I am a third grade teacher for the American Preparatory Academy charter school.  They have one campus in Draper, Utah, another in West Valley City, Utah, and they've built another campus in West Valley.

I work at the brand new campus, which is still under construction.  So much so, that teachers weren't able to even get into the building to prepare their classrooms until last Friday, August 26th....with school starting Monday, August 29th!

It was a whirlwind of a weekend.  Luckily many parent volunteers came to help the teachers make their rooms look as "put together" as they possibly could in such a short amount of time.

This has been the LONGEST, and most TIRING week of my life! 

Since I live in Sandy, I'm about 30 minutes away from work.  I also now have to deal with traffic, which I've been blessed to never have to worry about before.  I have to be at school at 7:45am.  So Brandon and I are out the door by 6:45am each day so that I can avoid the morning traffic.  I don't get to leave work until 4:15pm, and by then the afternoon traffic has begun.  And don't even get me started on Utah Drivers....and I thought California Drivers were bad; they are NOTHING compared to Utahans!  I get Brandon from school, come home and make dinner, sit for a few minutes, get Brandon ready for bed, and I'm back to bed by 9:30pm to start the next day.  It's been a crazy schedule.  I've had caffeine pumping through my veins this week, not blood!!

Being at a brand new school definitely has it's advantages though.  The biggest is that everything is brand new (duh!).  But there is a lot of enthusiasm with the staff and the students who are at this school for the first time.

This week has been all about teaching the students procedures.  American Preparatory Academy (APA) is all about Direct Instruction.  Aren't sure what Direct Instruction teaching is?  Read here to find out all about it.

By Tuesday the marjority of our curriculum should have arrived, and we'll be starting with reading and math groups.  Yep, I went an entire week without the majority of my curriculum, and since there wasn't a fence around the playground yet, the students (and teachers) were forced to stay inside for recess!  Did I mention it was a long week?!?

I have a great class.  They are catching on quickly to the direct instruction techniques we use to get the attention of everyone.  I'm naturally a loud person so  I've almost lost my voice because of all the cheering and teaching of class rules.  It's been great.  I can't wait to see how they progress, and how I can become a better teacher.

Here are some pictures from my classroom.  Please remember, I only had about 2 1/2 days to be inside it, with construction workers constantly coming in, making it more difficult to put my room in the order I'd like it in!

My bulletin boards aren't finished yet 


Front of the classroom 


Back of the classroom 


Outside 




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